Smallholder Oil Palm Handbook

Below, you can find the latest and earlier versions of the smallholder oil palm handbook modules for mature plantations developed by SNV and Wageningen University. These handbooks contain information for smallholders on how to produce oil palm in a sustainable and efficient way. The handbooks may be useful for farmers, extension workers, trainers, and others who are working with oil palm smallholders. They are mostly written from the perspective of Indonesia.

If you are looking for more practical details about oil palm production, then we recommend the IPNI Oil Palm Series: Field Handbooks, written by Rankine and Fairhurst (1999). They are available in English, Spanish, and Indonesian, and can be ordered here. While handbooks can provide useful background and basic information about oil palm farming, nothing compares to the expert opinion of a senior oil palm agronomist. So we strongly recommend to anyone who is seriously trying to improve the productivity and sustainability of smallholder oil palm production to a high standard: try to get a senior agronomist on board! Really: no handbook can replace a good agronomist.

Having said this, we do hope that the knowledge in our handbook will be of some use. Please feel free to use and share the information that you find here, but do provide the correct citation for each module. And please note that the handbook is ‘work in progress’, as we try to incorporate any new ‘lessons learned’ while we carry out our experiments and trainings on the ground. So when citing, make sure to refer to the correct version, and don’t forget to check regularly if new versions are available.

Version 3 of the handbook (last updated in August 2016)

Module 1: Planting Material
Module 2: Harvesting, Grading, Transport
Module 3: Plantation Maintenance
Module 4: Fertiliser Application
Module 5: Pests and Diseases

Version 2 of the handbook (last updated in June 2016)

Module 1: Planting Material
Module 2: Harvesting, Grading, Transport
Module 3: Plantation Maintenance
Module 4: Fertiliser Application
Module 5: Pests and Diseases